Friday, October 13, 2006

Jupiter's Spot Changes Colour

Just a little more than a year ago, the small spot on Jupiter was a pale white; now it matches the reddish hue of it's bigger sibling, the Great Red Spot, and boasts 400mph winds, according to new data from the Hubble Space Telescope. Both spots are actually fierce storms in Jupiter's atmosphere. While the red spot - at three times the size of earth - is much more noticeable, strange things are happening to the smaller spot. Scientists aren't quite sure what's happening to the smaller storm, nicknamed the Little Red Spot or Red Spot Jr but officially called "Oval BA". It probably gained strength as it shrunk slightly, the same way spinning ice skaters go faster when they move their arms closer, said Nasa planetary scientist Amy Simon-Miller. Her findings from the Hubble data were published in the astronomical journal Icarus.
Some sexoid images of Jupiter here.


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